Feeling All the Feelings

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A quick "Praying with Jane" devotional time while getting prepped for surgery... Make the most of EVERY moment.

Cake

"We should have cake. Don't you think?"

That was my response to my doctor's update on what he found in my lungs on Thursday. I was still in PACU (recovery room) and, in retrospect, still very much under the effects of anesthesia. Cake? Seriously?!

But I was happy. Elated. There was much good news in the report.

  • the last spot they treated showed signs of diminishing blood flow

  • other trouble spots looked stable enough to NOT treat them today

  • they had time to map the rest of the vessels (something they've wanted to do the past three times I went under, but couldn't due to the emergency-status of some vessels)

  • so....they didn't do any treatments this time!

  • I had feeling in my feet

  • I was only on the table for 4 hours

  • I could go HOME!

That's a lot to celebrate. So I did! They didn't have cake in PACU but they gave me a strawberry popsicle. I'm not really a frozen-sugar-stick kind of girl, but that thing was AH-MAZING!!

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Of course, with every sugar rush, comes a sugar crash. And when I crashed, I wondered why I was so happy to begin with. There was a good dose of bad news in the report as well. Why didn't that settle in from the start?

I'm not sure. But I wonder if there's a part of our brains that is just waiting to jump on any good news, especially when circumstances have been less than good for some time.

I've been trying to find an answer to my predicament in the Bible. So far, I haven't found a story about someone bleeding in their lungs. (That would be too easy!) But I did find a few stories that have helped.

Hannah

Hannah was childless, for what probably seemed like for-ever! She went to the temple to pray. To beg. "God, if you give me a son, I will give him back to you." And he did. (1 Samuel 1)

This is a beautiful story. But I have always wondered how Hannah felt, like ALL the feelings, when she discovered she was pregnant. Elation for sure - God heard my prayer! Joy - I'm going to be a mother! But perhaps later, Bittersweet - I will not get to keep this one in my arms forever. I am so grateful, but this will hurt.

No guilt, Hannah. I get all those feelings.

The Bleeding Woman

The Bleeding Woman was, well, bleeding. For years. No cure. And, in the culture she lived in, this also made her an outcast. Isolated. Then, one day, in desperation and in hope, she snuck her way into the crowd and touched Jesus. Just a touch. Just a corner of his robe. But that was all it took. She believed if she could touch him, she would be healed. And her faith was enough. She was healed. (Luke 8)

So, what do we think she was feeling? Elation. Relief. Joy. Gratitude. Love. Yes, all of those. For sure! But, perhaps later, Frustration - What if I had believed sooner? Why did it I have to suffer so long? I've missed so much of life...

No guilt, Bleeding Woman. I get all those feelings.

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I'm sure there are more. More examples of Bible heroes who focused on the joy first, only to feel the sting later. I guess it's normal. It was certainly my experience this week. I am not going to dwell on it more than to remind myself of this: I have learned that God created my emotions, all of them, so there is nothing wrong in feeling them. My job today is to bring them to the feet of Jesus, again. Tell him all about the ups and downs of my emotions this week. And then be silent. Be still. Let him come to heal my heart. To put the pieces back together. To make me whole again.

He can do that. Like an artist with a pile of pottery shards, He takes one piece at a time, placing them perfectly together to create a mosaic more beautiful than the mind can grasp. He will take the broken pieces of my heart, the emotional chips and shards of fear and disappointment, and He will place them together in a way that I cannot imagine. In a way that reflects His glory. A way that is undeniably beautiful.

To those who have sorrow in Zion I will give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. I will give them the oil of joy instead of sorrow, and a spirit of praise instead of a spirit of no hope. Then they will be called oaks that are right with God, planted by the Lord, that He may be honored.

Isaiah 61:3 (NLV)

I will tell Him. And I will be still, waiting for the restoration that is to come. That is what I will do.